CarefulBuilder14 wrote:The value of MR points varies so widely because the offerings available within different frequent flyer programs vary widely. Two different flights might each cost a fixed 25,000 points, for example, but the cash price of one might be $200 and another may be $600. So while all the MR transfer partners let you convert 1 MR point into one airline point, what one airline point will actually buy when you want to go from A to B on day C just differs so much. You might find that paying cash and saving your points is a better way to go.
For your upcoming trip, try to figure out which airline(s) you'll be using. If they aren't MR transfer partners, MR points won't do much good. I fly US Airways mostly, when I do fly, and they aren't in the program.
You might also read:http://creditcardforum.com/rewards/10370-any-good-frequent-flyer-programs.html
You can also look at the Arrival or Arrival+. I'm planning on just getting the no-AF version, since so much of my spending can get 5% cash back. And if you do put a lot of spending on an Amex and get good value of MR points (1.5 to 2 cents or more), the EDP's annual fee can easily be worth it.
Thanks for the recommendations, I'll have to look into the trip more (it is a couple years away, so all I've done at this point is save up some money for it).